Kepler-22b: The new Earth?


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Profile Jason Safoutin
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Message 1175908 - Posted: 5 Dec 2011, 18:24:49 UTC
Last modified: 5 Dec 2011, 18:25:26 UTC

NASA scientists with the Kepler program have confirmed, for the first time, a planet in the 'habitable zone' in an other solar system.

NASA's Kepler Mission Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star

"NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface....The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don't yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets....Kepler-22b is located 600 light-years away. While the planet is larger than Earth, its orbit of 290 days around a sun-like star resembles that of our world. The planet's host star belongs to the same class as our sun, called G-type, although it is slightly smaller and cooler."

Unfortunately, we really have no way, yet, to determine if life exists on this planet. Sending a probe is possible, but it would take over 600 years to get there. This is great news and I hope they find out more about this planet.

Also: Would it be possible for Arecibo to make an observation of this planet? Not saying aliens are there, but being the first "confirmed, habitable" planet...isn't it worth a shot?
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Message 1175911 - Posted: 5 Dec 2011, 18:42:57 UTC

I wonder if the aliens we are searching for are going to come and give us the technology to go to a planet this far away.
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Message 1175938 - Posted: 5 Dec 2011, 21:27:22 UTC
Last modified: 5 Dec 2011, 21:28:40 UTC

Dr. Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute announced that Kepler 22b and other promising planets discovered by the Kepler Project will soon be monitored for intelligent radio signals at the newly reopened Allen Telescope Array. IF this planet is inhabited, and *if* its inhabitants had the ability and inclination to send a strong radio beam our way 600 years ago, we may not have to wait too long for confirmation of life on the planet.

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Message 1175940 - Posted: 5 Dec 2011, 22:00:33 UTC - in response to Message 1175938.

Actually 600 light years is in close. We might be able to hear spurious radiation from radio/tv or radar at this distance if it exists. What else do we know about this planet. What does a spectrometer show for atmosphere.

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Message 1176111 - Posted: 6 Dec 2011, 17:05:05 UTC - in response to Message 1175940.
Last modified: 6 Dec 2011, 17:07:11 UTC

The composition of the planet and its atmosphere are not known. Knowing its size, its density and so its composition can be inferred, once its mass is learned. Kepler can't provide that information, but ground-based telescopes can. They will look for tiny wobbles in the star, caused by the gravity of the planet. Such observations are contemplated for the middle of 2012. It's my impression that spectroscopic work on the atmosphere of a planet 600 light years distant may still be beyond our current capabilities. If someone knows something to the contrary, I'd be interested to hear it. If the planet proves to be of the terrestrial sort, with a solid surface, rather than a smaller version of Neptune, it's not unreasonable to think that it might have an atmosphere similar to Earth's.

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Message 1176139 - Posted: 6 Dec 2011, 22:40:50 UTC - in response to Message 1176111.

the planet is estimated to have a 290 day year so hopefully we can learn more as time goes on
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Message 1176142 - Posted: 6 Dec 2011, 23:05:30 UTC - in response to Message 1176139.
Last modified: 6 Dec 2011, 23:05:49 UTC

the planet is estimated to have a 290 day year so hopefully we can learn more as time goes on


We will have to find a name for this planet, does Kepler sound OK ?
or would it require something more imaginative?
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Message 1176345 - Posted: 7 Dec 2011, 21:08:36 UTC

or would it require something more imaginative?


Perhaps we should call it what the inhabitants do .... if there are any of course. Otherwise any arbitrary name we may give it is merely incongruous.

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Message 1176370 - Posted: 7 Dec 2011, 23:22:14 UTC - in response to Message 1176345.

or would it require something more imaginative?


Perhaps we should call it what the inhabitants do .... if there are any of course. Otherwise any arbitrary name we may give it is merely incongruous.


Bit strange if we found that it was inhabited and they also call their
planet "Earth"?
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Message 1176387 - Posted: 8 Dec 2011, 2:55:50 UTC

I'd be much more excited if they had located planets around a star say 5 to 10 LY away. At 600 LY it's like holding a lolly pop just outside the reach of a baby.
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Message 1176388 - Posted: 8 Dec 2011, 2:57:10 UTC - in response to Message 1176370.

Kepler-22b: At 2.4 times Earth's radius, and if of similar composition, wouldn't that put it's surface gravity at about 7 or 8 G?
Probably a much flatter orb... difficult for things to grow up. And therefore probably never had birds evolve.
If birds didn't exist, who would have been interested in flight, much less than space travel.
No, I don't think we will be hearing from them for the next billion years.
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Message 1176596 - Posted: 8 Dec 2011, 22:41:08 UTC

1.6G I thought.

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Message 1176638 - Posted: 9 Dec 2011, 0:40:05 UTC

Kepler-22b does sound like an interesting find.

Its just a shame that the whole catalogue of new planets will have to be re-written just as soon as i go public about my new scientific findings. The scientific findings that God told me in the book he wrote.

John.
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Message 1177156 - Posted: 10 Dec 2011, 22:51:54 UTC

UPDATE: Is the New planet Kepler 22b discovered by NASA super earth?

"Bill Borucki, Kepler’s lead scientist, said, “If it has a surface, it ought to have a nice temperature.”

Natalie Batahla, the Kepler deputy science chief, said, “It’s right in the middle of the habitable zone. The other exciting thing is that it orbits a star very, very similar to our own sun. It’s so exciting to imagine the possibilities.”

Floating on that “world completely covered in water” could be like being on an Earth ocean and “it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that life could exist in such an ocean,” Batalha said in a phone interview.

Kepler-22b is one of the fifty planets that fit the bill of orbiting a star in the habitable zone. It is 600 light years away from earth and is about 2.4 times the diameter of Earth. It makes a revolution around its sun in 290 days and its surface boasts the balmy daytime temperatures of around 22 degrees Celsius.
"

Also: Human-like Life Could Exist on Newly-discovered Planet

"A newly-discovered Earth-like planet could very well contain continental features where normal human-like life could exist. Or it could be more of a water world with an ocean containing life forms similar to dolphins.

That’s according to Dr. Alan Boss, of the Carnegie Institution for Science, one of the researchers involved in discovering the new planet.

Located some 600 light-years away, Kepler 22B is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. And while scientists don’t yet exactly know if the planet is predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, its discovery has excited scientists who now say we’re now one step closer to finding other Earth-like planets throughout the cosmos.

If it is truly made of rock, as some speculate, Dr. Boss says it might look something like our own Earth with probably a fair amount of water on it as well.

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Message 1177157 - Posted: 10 Dec 2011, 22:55:15 UTC - in response to Message 1175938.

Dr. Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute announced that Kepler 22b and other promising planets discovered by the Kepler Project will soon be monitored for intelligent radio signals at the newly reopened Allen Telescope Array. IF this planet is inhabited, and *if* its inhabitants had the ability and inclination to send a strong radio beam our way 600 years ago, we may not have to wait too long for confirmation of life on the planet.


They don't even have to be sending it to us. Just in our general direction. Would be nice if they were sending constant signals much like TV and radio on earth do here. But if we don't find those transmissions, that doesn't mean there are no human like beings on the planet, they just might not yet have the capabilities to send such signals. There was a time when we had no clue what radio even was much less signals from space.
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Message 1177223 - Posted: 11 Dec 2011, 10:41:11 UTC

ability and inclination to send a strong radio beam our way 600 years ago


Presumably then it would take another 600 years for us to reply, then another 600 for a response back from them to confirm it wasn't a once off. Rather impractical to wait 1200 years for definite proof ....

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Message 1177261 - Posted: 11 Dec 2011, 16:08:28 UTC

The general idea seems to be that the original signal should persist long enough to be independently verified, and contain enough information to establish that it came from an extraterrestrial civilization. A simple 'one shot' signal, such as they sent into space from Arecibo years ago, is less than adequate. An exception to this could a beamed signal that sweeps by fairly rapidly, but contains enough information to direct us to another frequency where a continuous, omnidirectional signal could be found. We might have to 'sharpen our ears' to get this message, by building larger antennas.

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Message 1177954 - Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 4:58:08 UTC - in response to Message 1177261.

Let me see it would take 73000 years to nearest star which is about 4.5 ly away. This star is over 300 lightyears away. A mear six and half million years one way. A fuel tank as big as the earth is needed and lots of patient crew members. Just think if the atmosphere isnt fit for habitation. Maybe too high a concentration of oxygen just as toxic as any other gas in hevey concentration.

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Message 1178406 - Posted: 16 Dec 2011, 3:53:03 UTC - in response to Message 1177954.

Let me see it would take 73000 years to nearest star which is about 4.5 ly away. This star is over 300 lightyears away. A mear six and half million years one way. A fuel tank as big as the earth is needed and lots of patient crew members. Just think if the atmosphere isnt fit for habitation. Maybe too high a concentration of oxygen just as toxic as any other gas in hevey concentration.


Where did you get these numbers from?

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Message 1178424 - Posted: 16 Dec 2011, 6:21:27 UTC

If, with current technology a ship could be built to achieve an average speed of 100,000 mph I calculate it would take 30,132 years to go 4.5 ly.

No matter what realistic speed factor you choose we aren't leaving this solar system until or unless a way is found to bypass the speed of light by a significant amount. No one can say with certainty whether it is possible or not. On the one hand we may never find a way and on the other someone may make the discovery tomorrow.

I think that if a means exists someone will find a way because the desire to go somewhere that is currently out of reach is one of man's greatest motivators.
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